Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

A bit Inconsistent, but still fairly awesome.. - 84%

caspian, May 8th, 2006

The whole 'Big keyboard, Soaring Vocals' is a bit hit and miss for me. FOr every band that does it well, there's another band that does it really crappilly. Luckily Arcturus do a good job. Some of the stuff in this album is really quite awesome, but there's still a bit of untapped potential.

The first song is fairly decent, but really, the skill of Arcturus is most visible in Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer, an eight and a half minute long epic, which basically sums up what is good about this album. The vocals are amazing, just awesome, operatic stuff, the keyboards are really melodic, and make their point without being too cheesy, while the guitars chug along in the background. There's unpredictable riff changes and fairly competent, if not particularly amazing drumming. It's a perfect song, really, (except for maybe the female vocals.)

Unfortunately, this standard doesn't remain throughout the whole album. Nocturnal Vision Revisited is quite bizarre, and the strange, ranting vocals of Evacuation Code Desiphered aren't particularly inspiring. The production doesn't help much either.. While it's pretty polished, the guitars are mixed way too low and the drums are really sterile. And what's the point of recording a burp in the intro of a song? (Daemonpainter, an otherwise excellent song.) Does it add anything to the tune? No!

Despite the odd screw up though, this is a good album. Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer is nothing short of stunning, White Noise Monster is a bit strange but super good and Hufsa is pretty cool, with the Norwegian (or whatever language it is) vocals adding a good edge to it. Simen is a great singer.. His lyrics aren't incredibly deep, but he's got a strong, clear and very melodic voice, and he writes some great vocal melodies too. The guitars are mixed really low, but there's tonnes of variation, from the speed metal intro of Shipwrecked.. to the slow chug of Daemonpainter, to the spooky appregios that open up Evacuation Code.., to the solos in Moonshine Delirium, there's a lot of variety in here, although writing in a different key once in a while would help. (Does every song have to be in a Minor key?). The bass is turned up quite loud (always a huge plus in my book.) Hellhammer doesn't do much amazing stuff, but he does dig out some pretty impressive beats though.. like the super fast double kick in HIbernation Sickness, the cool tom-heavy beat in Shipwrecked, and the odd double kick/bass drum beat in Moonshine Delirium. Still, there's a feeling that he didn't put too much effort into them, and the drums are very sterile.. they've been screwed with way too much, there's not much natural drum tone in here.

So in the end, this is a pretty good album, although it would have benefited from maybe a bit more time writing songs. Still, it's worth getting if you dig Atmospheric Black Metal, Power Metal, basically anything with big Keys, big riffs and soaring vocals. Just get the skip button ready.